To the Editor:
Alex Smith died because he was a diabetic. This 26-year-old did not have to die. He died because he could not afford $1,300/monthly for his life-saving insulin.
He tried rationing his insulin (as many seniors do with their own medications). His rationing costs him his life. Seven million diabetics depend upon lifesaving insulin. A vial of insulin went from $21 in 1996 to $320 in 2018. Many diabetics use several vials each month.
A Yale study found that 1 in 4 diabetics cut back on their insulin because of cost.
These are mostly middle-class people with limited insurance. Over time, insulin rationing will lead to blindness, heart disease, kidney shutdown, nerve damage, amputations and death.
President Trump has promised to bring down drug prices. However, his Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, came from this insulin maker, Eli Lilly, which more than doubled the price of insulin from 2011-2016. Is this the fox guarding the henhouse?
Now the mother of Alex Smith is just one of many who must face the loss of a young life cut short because of pharmaceutical avarice.
It is worth noting that the price of insulin in Canada is $48/vial. A woman from Los Angeles purchased 18 months of insulin in Mexico for $150.
U.S. price would have cost her over $3,000.